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US court ordered Mukhtar Ablyazov to disclose all his sources of income and assets

08.09.2022 11:20:33

American justice came to this decision in connection with the repeated violation of the court’s requirements by Ablyazov.

On August 19, 2022, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Mukhtar Ablyazov must, by September 30, provide the court with data on all his sources of income and assets directly or indirectly controlled by him. If he ignores the demand, he will be fined $1,000 per day until he pays $140,000 to the plaintiffs represented by BTA Bank JSC and the city of Almaty.

On February 7, 2020, the US court ordered Ablyazov to pay $140,115.60 to the plaintiffs for the latter's refusal to participate in the disclosure of evidence.

To this day, Ablyazov has not fulfilled the decision ordered by the court.

On August 16, 2022, U.S. Judge Katherine H. Parker held a hearing where Ablyazov spoke by telephone through his son as an interpreter. At the court session, Ablyazov did not dispute his violation of court order but he tried to find excuses for his disobedience to the previous requirements of justice. On August 19, Judge Parker issued an order where she dismissed each of these excuses, including finding:

      The court issued a "clear and unambiguous order" to punish Ablyazov. His objections to the ruling were overruled by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan.

      The evidence of Ablyazov's failure to comply with the Court's decision was "clear and convincing" and was in fact admitted by Ablyazov.

      Ablyazov "made no effort" to comply with the Court's ruling.

      The court dismissed Ablyazov’s attempts to accuse the plaintiffs of filing claims against him as “baseless”, finding that this argument “does not justify the blatant disregard of his disclosure obligations in this lawsuit and is not relevant to his compliance with this court order.”

Besdies, Parker recommended that Mukhtar Ablyazov's behavior be recognized as contempt of court. The judge noted that he did not provide any evidence of his financial situation, and "the initial sanctions were due to the fact that he did not disclose information about the assets embezzled by him from BTA Bank." The court gave Ablyazov the time until September 30, 2022 to provide proper information about his assets. If he fails to provide proper evidence, the judge recommended that he would be sentenced in contempt of court, including a fine of $1,000 per day, until he complies with the court order, paying the plaintiffs $140,115.60.

This ruling represents the first time in the Ablyazov’s trial that the court in the United States has delivered a judgment in contempt, and follows numerous sanctioning rulings against Ablyazov and his co-defendants Ilyas and Viktor Khrapunov. Previously, Judge Parker concluded that "the Khrapunovs, and especially Ilyas, violated numerous [legal] obligations", "confessed to the removal" of evidence, and falsely stated that they could not access other evidence. The court also found that "the Khrapunovs violated various court orders in this court case", beginning with the unauthorized leak of Ilyas Khrapunov's confidential testimony.

Matthew L. Schwartz, Managing Partner of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, who is representing the plaintiffs in the proceedings, said: “The City of Almaty and BTA Bank are grateful to the court for its continued close monitoring of this matter. Mukhtar Ablyazov, Ilyas Khrapunov and their accomplices repeatedly refused to honestly participate in the trial and violated numerous court orders. Holding Ablyazov accountable for contempt of US court orders, just as he was previously charged with contempt of English court orders, is an important signal that Mukhtar Ablyazov will be punished for his wrongdoing, and that he is not above the law.”

The city of Almaty and BTA Bank initiated the New York Trial more than six years ago, accusing Mukhtar Ablyazov and his accomplices of laundering stolen money from Kazakhstan to the USA. As has already been established during legal proceedings in other countries, Ablyazov embezzled billions of dollars from BTA Bank through the issue of fictitious loans - actions for which he has already been convicted in Kazakhstan and civilly liable in UK courts. In the course of the proceedings in the United States, the plaintiffs collected additional substantial evidence of Ablyazov's crimes, and also obtained the testimony of numerous witnesses to these crimes. A jury trial will take place in New York in the fall of 2022.